Tonight I laced up my running shoes in solidarity with other Houston Area Road Runners as part of HARRA’s Houston Runs 4 Harvey 5K. Participating runners had the option of joining them this evening at TC Jester Park in Houston for a 5K or running the same distance at a satellite location of your choice.
I set out later than normal. The night was eerily quiet with just the rhythmic hum of the cicadas cheering me on. As my feet hit the pavement, I fell into a cadence that easily allowed me to get lost in thought. With each step forward, I pushed myself a little harder and coaxed myself to run a little faster.
The deep orange glow on the horizon and a lone star shining brightly in the sky served as my guide to a finish line that only existed in my head. I weaved through twists and turns in the road racing against the clock closing in on 3.1 miles. As I ran, my head raced with negative thoughts about a hurricane named Harvey who brought destruction and heartache to so many people in the Gulf Coast areas of Texas. I thought of the people I knew directly and the ones I read about or saw on the local news who were directly impacted.
As my pace continued to quicken so too did my heart rate. My chest began to burn, but I still pushed on coaxing a swell of emotions out at the same time. My heart ached for so many who lost their lives, homes, and treasures to Harvey. My heart swelled with pride for a city I’ve called home for the last seven years that came together to support those who needed them most.
When my watch finally flashed 3.1 miles signaling the end of tonight’s virtual run, I found myself overcome with emotion. I stopped my watch, slowed to a walk, and found myself fighting back tears. For me, the completion of tonight’s run symbolized the end of a monster that took it’s toll across southeast Texas. A monster that left many wounded in it’s path; a path that still requires a lot of stamina, faith, and charity to overcome and rebuild what was lost.
As I turned the corner around the lake, a perfectly round moon with an orange glow took my breath away. It hung low cast perfectly on a blanket of black and purple sky. In that moment of natural beauty, I found myself reflecting on truth, goodness, and light. Those of us who lost nothing must serve as the light for those who have lost it all; coming together in goodness to help our neighbors through charitable giving.